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Federal Highway Legislation Seeks to Entice States to Enact Graduated Licensing for Teens.

Byline: Arthur D. Postal,

NU Online News Service, July 3, 7:57 a.m.

Insurance industry officials lauded a provision in federal highway legislation that encourages states through grants to implement graduated driver licensing laws for teen drivers.

Chris Mullen, director of technology research at State Farm, says, "Graduated Driver Licensing laws help strengthen the driving skills of eligible teenagers across the U.S."

He explains that GDL laws introduce driving privileges to young novice drivers over time, providing opportunities to gain valuable behind-the-wheel experience and develop important driving skills in lower-risk conditions.

"Because auto crashes are the number one killer of teens, State Farm is dedicated to helping create safer and better-prepared drivers," he says.

Mullen continues, "Research demonstrates inexperienced teen drivers are much more likely to crash than other drivers." He adds, "Studies show that crashes among teen drivers have decreased by up to 38 percent in states with strong graduated licensing systems."

Melissa Shelk, American Insurance Association vice president for federal affairs, says the GDL licensing incentive grant program "is good public policy that seeks to make the road a safer place for teen drivers, thus reducing the death and injury toll of novice teen drivers"

She says AIA, as a member of the SafeRoads4Teens coalition, fully supports GDL licensing laws as an effective method for reducing the crash risk of new drivers.

GDL licensing laws, which require a 3-step licensing process for young drivers under the age of 18 as well as other safety enhancing measures, "are a proven way to reduce the risk of teenage automobile accidents," says Shelk.

The omnibus legislation, the Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2012, was passed Friday and also contains a five-year National Flood Insurance Program extension, until Sept. 30, 2017.
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Publication:Property and Casualty 360
Date:Jul 3, 2012
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